Bennisly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Bennisly is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Bennisly family lived in Norfolk and Suffolk. The name is derived from an Old Norse phrase which means an area where beans were grown.
Early Origins of the Bennisly family
The surname Bennisly was first found in Norfolk and Suffolk, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They are descended from Benzelius, Archbishop of Upsal in the Viking kingdom of Sweden. Benzelinus accompanied William Conqueror into England. There are now 28 different forms of spelling of this name. 
Important Dates for the Bennisly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennisly research. Another 36 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 154 and 1548 are included under the topic Early Bennisly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bennisly Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bensley, Bensely, Benseley, Benesle, Bensle, Benslie, Benslee, Benisly, Benslow, Beanslie, Binslie and many more.
Early Notables of the Bennisly family (pre 1700)
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bennisly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bennisly family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bennisly or a variant listed above: Clement Bensley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1813; John Bensle settled in Philadelphia in 1751.
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- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.